Category: Construction

Creative Ways to Use Sheer Fabrics

I first met Jennifer from Workroom Social last year when she made a trip from NYC to Philly. From her blog, I knew she would be personable and friendly. The kind of person could have coffee or drinks with and wouldn’t be shy to talk about sewing. When I met her, she was so much more. She has an unparalleled presence. She recently teamed up with McCall’s Sewing Patterns to produce 6 short videos that will hopefully push sewers to think beyond the pattern envelope. Each one features two McCall’s patterns and one sewing technique. When she reached out to me to feature one of them, I jumped on board. I am always happy to help a fellow sewer, but especially Jen! In the video, Jen shows creative ways to use sheer fabrics (i.e. chiffon) by adding a simple appliqué. I hope you enjoy!

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tags: Construction, Guest Post, teaching Comments: 3

What I Made: Nellie Warner (Nina Warner Part Deux)

I’m still in a stage where I’m making as many bra styles before finding my own. I’ve even created a Pinterest board… because who doesn’t love pretending you have more time than you actually have to make a perfectly curated lingerie wardrobe? With each bra, I’m refining the silhouettes, the level of support, the type of fabrics and trims that suit me. Surprisingly, this style has become my favorite go-to, casual bra. You would think that because of the high neckline, I would only be able to wear it under shirts with a high neckline as well. Not so. It’s super cute peeking out from underneath a button down blouse or an oversized tee with a low armhole. This bra, Nellie Warner, is an evolution of Nina Warner, and Nina Warner is an evolution of the Kitri Lace Crop Bra, which I first made last year. My goal was to add another variation/option to the pattern, which is a cutout racerback. Nellie Warner is an evolution of Nina Warner, and Nina Warner was an evolution of the Kitri Crop Lace Bra. My goal was to add a variation/option to the pattern, which was a cutout racerback. The bra also features princess seams and a bottom band. Center front, side front and back: Italian velvet-flocked lace knit (Emma One Sock), lined with firm/classic power net (Fleishman Fabrics). Used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. Bottom band: stretch scalloped lace (gifted from Donna, a sewing friend who is a member of Bra Making Forum). This bra was a lesson of the importance of recovery in stretch fabrics. The fabric, a beautiful Italian velvet-flocked lace knit, has a lot of stretch (80% in one direction and 60% in the other) and little recovery. As a frame of reference, a high stretch fabric in lingerie…

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tags: bra making, Construction, knits, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 11

What I Made: Indigo Miller

Balancing a full time career and a lively social calendar is mighty task. So big that I could break a nail. One minute, I’m immersed in a professional meeting and the next, I’m at a cocktail hour, garden party, boozy brunch or romantic rendezvous. How do I dress for it all without smudging my mascara or creasing my clothing? With a swanky, self-stitched, above-the-knee frocktail. Puh-lease! I’m kidding! My social calendar involves mostly hanging out with cats, Basil and Sage, and my most romantic rendezvous has been with my Bernina 560. My grandmother says your twenties are the best years of your life. The real reason I conceived this dress? Yes, I gave birth to her and I shall name her Indigo Miller. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been immersed in lingerie sewing, but kept this project on the back burner. It was nice progressing at a lazy pace with no finish date. Then, I ran out of elastic. How did I run out of the one, if not the most essential lingerie trim? Who knows, but it happened and I didn’t have 1/4”, 3/8” or 1/2” plush elastic. So while I waited for more to arrive in the mail – my local sewing stores don’t sell it – Indigo Miller was brought from the back to the front burner. I didn’t like sewing her at first. I kept thinking about lingerie. Now that I finished, I realized it was just what I needed – a taste of garment sewing. I bought this fabric at Jomar’s over a year ago. I don’t have a stash, but I have a few fabrics that I saw, purchased and kept. I almost cut into it on many occasions, and each time I came close, I thought, “No, no, no… this fabric is meant…

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tags: Construction Comments: 15

The Difference Between a Full and Partial Band Bra + How To Convert

I’ve sewn mostly full band bras, but I’m currently experimenting with a partial band style. The project has me going back to two posts I wrote about the difference between a partial band and a full band bra. I’ve learned a lot since, and there are some updates I’d like to make to that post. First is a clearer graphic that will hopefully explain the difference a little better. The measurements were also incorrect. I have deleted old posts since the information was not right and I’m fixing now. And don’t think that I’m moving away from soft bras like Nina Warner! They are still my favorite silhouette and I see myself going that route in the future, but this partial brand is just a fun little project. The pattern for a partial band and a full band bra are not the same, meaning you cannot sew the cups from a partial band bra into the frame of a full band bra. You also can’t decide mid-sewing to change a partial band bra to a full band bra or vice versa. In both cases, a pattern alteration is necessary. The only pattern piece that is interchangeable are the straps, and that’s assuming you have fabric straps and not elastic straps (elastic straps don’t require a pattern piece). A full band bra is a bra in which the cups are sewn into a frame, and a partial band bra is a bra in which there is no frame and the band and the bridge are separate pieces. For both styles, the wire line sits at the base of the breast, which is indicated by the lighter blue line in the figure above, but the position of the cup seam is different depending on the style. Briefly put, the cups for a partial band bra are bigger than the cups for a full band bra to account…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, Pattern Making Comments: 13

Adventures in Muslin Making

Let’s talk muslins, or as some refer to it, toiles. Do you hate making them or love it? Do you make it out of an unbleached cotton or do you use fashion fabric? How do you mark your corrections? Do you transfer them to pattern paper, oak tag or something similar, or do you use the muslin as the pattern for the final garment? Do you use a pen, pencil, pins ot safety pins? Do you take pictures wearing the muslin for a more accurate analysis? Do you have anyone chime in on the fit and silhouette (i.e. children, significant other, pet)? Do you use a longer stitch length to sew? Do you make the whole garment or just a portion (i.e. one sleeve)? I think that about covers all the questions that have been going through my mind as I truck through the muslin stage of the dress pictured above. Oh muslins!

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tags: Construction, Wardrobe Comments: 10